For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the

martyr stands, On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in

his hands; Far in front the cross stands ready and the crack

ling fagots burn, While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe To glean up the scattered ashes into History's

golden urn. 'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves Of a legendary virtue carved upon our fathers'

graves, Worshippers of light ancestral make the present

light a crime ;Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered

by men behind their time ? Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that

make Plymouth rock sublime ? They were men of present valor, stalwart old

iconoclasts, Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was

the Past's; But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking

that hath made us free, Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, while our ten

der spirits flee The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove

them across the sea.

They have rights who dare maintain them; we are

traitors to our sires, Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit

altar-fires ;

Shall we make their creed our jailer ? Shall we, in

our haste to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the fun

eral lamps away To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets

of to-day? New occasions teach new duties; Time makes an

cient good uncouth ; They must upward still, and onward, who would

keep abreast of Truth; Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires ! we ourselves

must Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through

the desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's

blood-rusted key. December, 1845.


What visionary tints the year puts on, When falling leaves falter through motionless

air Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone ! How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,

As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills

The bowl between me and those distant hills, And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous


No more the landscape holds its wealth apart, Making me poorer in my poverty,

But mingles with my senses and my heart; My own projected spirit seems to me

In her own reverie the world to steep;

'Tis she that waves to sympathetic sleep, Moving, as she is moved, each field and hill, and


How fuse and mix, with what unfelt degrees, Clasped by the faint horizon's languid arms,

Each into each, the hazy distances !
The softened season all the landscape charms;

Those hills, my native village that embay,

In waves of dreamier purple roll away, And floating in mirage seem all the glimmering


Far distant sounds the hidden chickadee Close at my side ; far distant sound the leaves ; The fields seem fields of dream, where Mem


Wanders like gleaning Ruth; and as the sheaves

Of wheat and barley wavered in the eye

Of Boaz as the maiden's glow went by, So tremble and seem remote all things the sense


The cock's shrill trump that tells of scattered

corn, Passed breezily on by all his flapping mates, Faint and more faint, from barn to barn is

borne, Southward, perhaps to far Magellan's Straits ;

Dimly I catch the throb of distant flails ;

Silently overhead the henhawk sails, With watchful, measuring eye, and for his quarry


The sobered robin, hunger-silent now, Seeks cedar-berries blue, his autumn cheer ;

The squirrel on the shingly shagbark's bough, Now saws, now lists with downward eye and ear, Then drops his nut, and, with a chipping

bound, Whisks to his winding fastness underground ; The clouds like swans drift down the streaming

atmosphere. O’er yon bare knoll the pointed cedar shadDrowse on the crisp, gray moss; the ploughman's

cal] Creeps faint as smoke from black, fresh-fur

rowed meadows; The single crow a single cay lets fall ;

And all around me every bush and tree

Says Autumn's here, and Winter soon will be, Who snows his soft, white sleep and silence over



The birch, most shy and ladylike of trees, Her poverty, as best she may, retrieves,

And hints at her foregone gentilities With some saved relics of her wealth of leaves;

The swamp-oak, with his royal purple on,

Glares red as blood across the sinking sun, As one who proudlier to a falling fortune cleaves.

He looks a sachem, in red blanket wrapt, Who, ’mid some council of the sad-garbed

Erect and stern, in his own memories lapt,
With distant eye broods over other sights,

Sees the hushed wood the city's flare replace,
The wounded turf heal o'er the railway's

trace, And roams the savage Past of his undwindled


The red-oak, softer-grained, yields all for lost, And, with his crumpled foliage stiff and dry,

After the first betrayal of the frost, Rebuffs the kiss of the relenting sky;

The chestnuts, lavish of their long-hid gold,

To the faint Summer, beggared now and old, Pour back the sunshine hoarded 'neath her favor

ing eye. The ash her purple drops forgivingly And sadly, breaking not the general hush ;

The maple-swamps glow like a sunset sea, Each leaf à ripple with its separate flush ; All round the wood's edge creeps the skirting

blaze Of bushes low, as when, on cloudy days, Ere the rain falls, the cautious farmer burns his


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